Monday, June 27, 2016

Be a Beach Trash Warrior

Be a Beach Trash Warrior

Yahoo! It's summer. And we're going to the beach! 

Let's have fun and keep our beaches clean.  Be sure to get your family and friends to rid the day's trash in the right way. Recycle! Reuse! Reduce! Be a BEACH TRASH WARRIOR.

Learn more about trash and the ocean with this video.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Watch Dory. Don't Buy Her. She's Fragile in the Wild

Did you know that the real Dory is a Pacific blue tang, and is now being illegally collected and kept as pets?  Well, it is a beautiful fish, and the character is charming in the Finding Nemo films, BUT
the Pacific blue tang is "under threat" and plays a very important role in the environment.  

"They graze algae on coral reefs, which is a very important job because it prevents the corals from being overgrown," said behavioral ecologist, Culum Brown.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Giant Leatherback Turtle Surprises Whale Watchers

...On the Whale Watching vessel San Mateo out of Dana Wharf in California, the whale watching crew came upon a giant Leatherback Turtle. The turtle ... first looked like a sea monster to the crew. It surfaced and was dragging a huge string of kelp. 

The crew member Jason Kunewa who recognized it as a turtle as it came closer to the boat realized the kelp was wrapped around its left flipper and neck. He quickly got his GoPro and a knife and jumped in the water, Jason reported that the leatherback turtle was a long as him but must have weighed close to 700 lbs... Capt Bo Daniel assisted Jason from the deck. Due to the heroic efforts of Kunewa, he was quickly able to cut it free as you will see in this video The leatherback turtle quickly swam free out of sight. Jason rescued a “HONU” and we are so proud that he works for us and cares so deeply about Mother Earth.

Edited from a post.

From NOAA's Kid's Times:  
Size of leatherback turtle. Photo credit:
Steve Garvie from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland 
Leatherbacks are the largest of the sea turtles. Adult leatherback turtles are 4-8 feet long and weigh 650-1,300 lbs. They are mostly black on top with white and pink spots on the head, neck, and carapace. The plastron is mottled with pink, white and black. They have two tooth-like cusps on either side of the upper jaw. Leatherback hatchlings are 2-3 inches in length with fore flippers as long as their bodies and unique white striping along the ridges of their backs.

Because leatherbacks are such strong swimmers, they are able to make long distance migrations across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans from their feeding grounds to their nesting beaches. Leatherback turtles are regularly found much further north than other sea turtle species. As cold-blooded reptiles, a leatherback turtle’s body temperature should be the same as the temperature of the water, but they have been reported in water temperatures below 43°F. No other reptile has ever been known to remain active at such a low temperature. Due to their large size and a special characteristic of their circulatory system, leatherbacks are able to conserve body heat and survive in cooler water temperatures.

Jellyfish are a leatherback turtle's favorite food.
C. Coimbra photo
Leatherback turtles love jellyfish! It seems very unlikely that such a large turtle would eat something so small that consists mainly of water, but they eat tons of them. Leatherbacks also eat sea squirts and other soft-bodied animals. They have scissor-like jaws and a mouth lined with stiff spines that point backwards to help them swallow their soft prey.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Wild Sea Otter Gives Birth Near Aquarium

From Monterey Bay Aquarium
March 8, 2016

Otterly amazing! A wild sea otter mom, seeking shelter from stormy seas, gave birth to her pup in our Great Tide Pool this weekend as guests and staff watched. This mom and pup pair are not part of the Aquarium's Sea Otter Program so they may return to their wild kelp forest home at any time, but we’re so grateful to have had this incredible first-hand look at their lives.

Our sea otter researchers have been studying wild otters for over 30 years but have never seen a birth happen so close. Not that long ago, southern sea otters were hunted to near extinction but now, thanks to laws and a change of heart toward these furriest of sea creatures, the otter population in Monterey Bay has rebounded.

If you missed the live birth we shared on Periscope, check out the rebroadcast. You can also stay up to date through our Facebook page, on Twitter and Instagram, and read more about the events as they unfold via Tumblr.

We’re amazed and awed to have had a chance to witness this Monterey Bay conservation success story in our own backyard.

Welcome to the world, little otter!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CUTENESS ALERT!!!! Newborn Baby Otter

Monterey Bay Aquarium photo. Newborn sea otter pup born, Dec. 21, 2015

Born last December in California's Monterey Bay, this day old wild otter pup casually rests on its mother's belly for a grooming and a nap.

California sea otters once populated the coast in the hundreds of thousands.  The sea otter has plush, soft fur that keeps it warm in cold ocean waters. Unfortunately, it was the beautiful, warm fur that brought these otters to near extinction.  

Today, otters are protected.  They struggle, but moments like the one gives all of us hope.